IPL 2019: 4 players who were surprisingly released by their respective teams
The deadline for the teams to finalize the list of players to be retained ended yesterday. There have been some interesting transactions between the teams recently, such as Shikhar Dhawan’s transfer to Delhi Daredevils in exchange for three players and Quinton de Kock moving to Mumbai Indians.
The teams also finalized the players to be released yesterday. While Kings XI Punjab cleaned their squad by retaining only nine players, the defending champions Chennai Super Kings released just three of their players for the auctions.
Some teams surprised everyone by retaining and releasing players who weren’t expected to be. Here, we list four players who were not expected to be released:
1. Axar Patel
The 24-year-old bowling all-rounder hailing from Gujarat has been a regular player in the Kings XI Punjab squad. Chipping in with a couple of wickets every other match and slogging a few big hits in the death overs made him an important asset.
However, he had a mediocre season in 2018, failing to contribute much with either bat or ball. The arrival of Ravichandran Ashwin and Mujeeb Ur Rahman increased the pressure on Axar, which could be the reason for his release.
Kings XI Punjab, who look set to revamp the team considering they retained only nine players, could have retained Axar who has come good when the team needed him. It will be interesting to see who picks Axar in the upcoming auctions now that he is a free agent.
2. Alex Hales
Sunrisers Hyderabad suffered a mighty blow earlier this year when David Warner was banned for one year. The English opener Alex Hales, who came in as replacement, played his part at times although he could not fill the shoes of Warner.
The tall batsmen provided some fiery starts and stitched together a couple of match-winning partnerships with Shikhar Dhawan in the games he got to play.
With Dhawan traded to Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers are in need of an explosive opener at the top and hence Hales was expected to be retained. However, the imminent arrival of Warner and the limitations over the number of foreign players could be some of the reasons for his release.
Hales would hope to find a buyer in the auctions and makes a bigger mark in next year's IPL.